My first lesson in preventing errors:
Here is my story that aired yesterday on 790 KABC as part of the Lasorda at His Best series presented by Skechers:
My father, may his soul rest in peace, was a great man. I learned more from him about the philosophy of life than anyone I have ever met. He had a piece of ground, and he loved to farm. We would eat all winter long on the vegetables he dug out of that ground.
One hot day after working at the Bethlehem quarry we went over to the land. I was 12 or 13 years old, and loved going there with my father to work with him.
“See that empty milk bottle over there?” he asked. “About a quarter of a mile straight from here there is a spring. I want you to fill it up with water.”
“That’s the only bottle I have,” he said, and he hit me upside the head.
“What are you hitting me for, Pop?”
“If you break that bottle it’s too late to hit you.”
I carried that bottle so tightly that nobody could have gotten that bottle out of my hands. I thought that if he hit me for not breaking it I couldn’t even imagine how bad it would have been if I had broken it.
I used that philosophy with my players. If they make an error, it’s too late to holler at them, but if I got on them before they had a better chance of not making the error.